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Apple sits on mountain of cash after record quarter. Now what?

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(Read caption) Apple sold 37 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2012. Here, a line of Apple products on display at Wal-Mart.

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Demand for the Apple iPhone hit a new high over the holidays, to the tune of 37 million handsets unloaded in the first quarter of 2012. During the same period – the last 14 weeks of 2011 – Apple sold more than 15 million iPad tablet computers. Those combined sales figures helped drive Apple's quarterly revenue to $46.33 billion, a company record. (Net profit for Apple during Q1 of 2012 was about $13 billion.) 

Apple currently has a market cap of $420 billion, almost twice as high as that of Microsoft, Fox Business reported today. 

"We’re thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs," Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in a statement. "Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline."

Meanwhile, according to TechCrunch, Apple has a whopping $97.6 billion in cash on hand, $64 billion of which is offshore. The Huffington Post has assembled a pretty amusing list of things that Apple's $97 billion could pay for, including 216 missions to Mars, 17 years of foreign aid, and Facebook, which is rumored to be valued around $100 billion. 


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